See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Ignore their roar 

Ain't democracy fickle? Given the collapse of, well, just about everything lately, you have to wonder how many people would actually cop to voting for Bush four years ago. Similarly, you have to wonder how many Academy Award voters would confess to punching the ballot for Roberto Benigni as best actor in 1997. On the flip side, November's presidential election pretty much went the way it should, and last year's Oscar voters properly honored No Country For Old Men as Best Picture.

So, it makes sense then that the Detroit Film Critics Society's final verdicts for best film, director and actors would fall somewhere between enlightened common sense and total cinematic ignorance. Despite the best efforts of Corey Hall and me to sway the voting toward those who were truly worthy of accolades (e.g. Sally Hawkins for "Best Actress"), the results were ... decidedly democratic. Translation: There were few surprises. Martin McDonagh for "Best Newcomer" was a pleasant twist. Marisa Tomei for "Best Supporting Acress" was a bit of a head-scratcher (my vote went to Rosemarie DeWitt). Still, the Society's choices this year were far less embarrassing than last year's decision to pick George Clooney over Daniel Day Lewis for Best Actor. (Don't look at me on that one.)

If you haven't seen the movies that earned our praise this year, you really owe it to yourself to check them out. A handful (The Wrestler, Revolutionary Road) won't be opening in Detroit until after the New Year, but the rest are currently available in theaters or on DVD. Take our word for it, most of them are worth seeking out.

And the envelope goes to ...
(in order of votes)

BEST FILM
Slumdog Millionaire
The Wrestler
WALL-E
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle — Slumdog Millionaire
Andrew Stanton — WALL-E
Darren Aronofsky — The Wrestler
Christopher Nolan — The Dark Knight
Ron Howard — Frost/Nixon

BEST ACTRESS
Kate Winslet — Revolutionary Road
Anne Hathaway — Rachel Getting Married
Sally Hawkins — Happy Go Lucky
Meryl Streep — Doubt
Melissa Leo — Frozen River

BEST ACTOR
Mickey Rourke — The Wrestler
Sean Penn — Milk
Frank Langella — Frost/Nixon
Josh Brolin — W.
Leonardo DiCaprio — Revolutionary Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Marisa Tomei — The Wrestler
Amy Adams — Doubt
Rosemarie Dewitt — Rachel Getting Married
Penelope Cruz — Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Elizabeth Banks — W.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heath Ledger — The Dark Knight
Robert Downey Jr. — Tropic Thunder
Michael Shannon — Revolutionary Road
Eddie Marsan — Happy Go Lucky
James Franco — Pineapple Express

BEST ENSEMBLE
Frost/Nixon
Burn After Reading
Revolutionary Road
Rachel Getting Married
Tropic Thunder

BEST NEWCOMER
Martin McDonagh — In Bruges (Writer-Director)
Rebecca Hall — Frost Nixon & Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Dev Patel — Slumdog Millionaire
Rosemarie Dewitt — Rachel Getting Married
Danny McBridge — Pineapple Express
Catinca Untaru — The Fall

Jeff Meyers writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

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